Exposé Online banner

Slap Guru — Diagrams of Pagan Life
(Sixteentimes, 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-12-22

Diagrams of Pagan Life Cover art

When I reviewed Slap Guru’s debut album in August 2018 I was not impressed. So I approached their second album, Diagrams of Pagan Life, with caution, and they have now won me over starting with the opening strains of the first track “Ākāsa.” This opening track is a beautiful, but short, instrumental with doubled guitars and sitar that immediately reminded me of Popol Vuh. Though Slap Guru continues their explorations of heavy 70s blues rock and stoner rock like on the title track, “My Eerie Universe,” “A Daily Loser - Dropping Electrons in a Hydrogen Atom,” and “A Wornout Tool - Diagrams on a Blaze.” But in between we see Slap Guru growing as a band, exploring new directions and ideas. The instrumental track “Into the Gloom” is completely different from their previous work and the track is aptly named.”To Forget Is to Forgive” shows the band switching back and forth between alternative rock, stoner rock, and progressive rock with some particularly melodic guitar passages. “Contemporary Blankness” has this Spanish band playing some smooth rhythmic Latin jazz much like Carlos Santana. “Earth Cycles” is a 27-second floating electronic soundscape. “The Same Old Way - Diagrams of the Solar System” is a gritty prog psych combo and “Streams on a Plain” shows elements of Jimi Hendrix’ “Fly on Little Wing” with a tolling bell as the outro. The album closes with the oddly named track “AnāhataNāda,” another new direction for the band with ambient drones and glissandos that soar up and out of hearing range. Though despite the cosmic references in the song titles, Diagrams of Pagan LIfe is not space rock, but instead a testament to a maturing band well worthy of your attention.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Slap Guru

More info
http://slapguruband.bandcamp.com/album/diagrams-of-pagan-life

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stips - Egotrip – Originally I thought this album was a throwaway, but a shrewd scheme unfolds after a few passes through the disc. You see, it's interesting how far people stray (or evolve) from seventies roots into a...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues